Best Diet for Menopause
Menopause is one of the most important periods in a woman’s life. For many menopausal women, losing weight or keeping it off is a challenge. And this is why many women want to know the best diet for menopause. What should you eat as a menopausal woman? Should you stay on keto or primal diet? Read on to know more about the best nutrition plan after menopause.
Most women find it difficult to lose weight after menopause, and it is usually due to hormone imbalances. Decreasing levels of estrogen reduce satiety and increase appetite simultaneously. Also, reduced estrogen levels impede the activation of brown fat, metabolically-active body fat that helps to burn calories. In addition to weight gain, menopause also increases the risk of heart diseases, bone problems, oxidative stress and symptoms like hot flashes among others. There can be a lot of mental chaos associated with menopause. Eating a healthy, well-rounded diet can help keep you in good shape at this critical period of your life. You will want to avoid the common mistakes we talked about In our last blog.
Eat Foods that Keep Your Bones Healthy
One of the fallouts of menopause is reduced bone density. Over time, your bones become porous and weaker and may become more prone to fracture and osteoporosis. It’s important that you include enough calcium and vitamin D sources in your diet to keep your bones healthy. You should also include omega-3 fatty acids from fish, shellfish, fish oil supplements in your diet as these have been found to increase bone mineral density in the spine and hips. One study also found that collagen supplement raised bone mineral density in postmenopausal women.
Increase Consumption of Fruits and Veggies
To reduce the risk of heart diseases after menopause, it’s important to get a minimum of five portions of fruits and veggies each day. Research shows that fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals which can prevent heart diseases, stroke, and certain cancers. Green tea and dark chocolate have also been found to help reduce the risk of heart disease in postmenopausal women. It’s also important to avoid a high-carb diet after menopause as research has linked high-carb nutrition with an increased risk of heart disease in women after menopause.
Eat More Low Glycemic Foods
Try to get 30 percent of your nutrition from starchy foods. Starchy foods such as potatoes are rich in minerals and fiber, especially when cooked without peeling off the skin. It’s important to eat more of wholemeal varieties of starchy foods such as wholemeal bread, oatmeal, brown rice, and whole-wheat pasta. These varieties are richer in nutrients, have more fiber, and take more time to digest that the processed carbs which have been linked to higher oxidative stress, heart disease, cancer, and weight gain in postmenopausal women. Consumption of fiber has been linked to lower levels of oxidative stress.
Reduce Intake of Sugar and Salt
Excessive use of salt in your diet can elevate your blood pressure levels, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke. High sugar intake will also increase your risk of being overweight and tooth decay. You want to cut down your intake of charbroiled, smoked, and salt-cured foods as they are high in nitrates, a mineral which has been associated with cancer.
Get adequate Protein
Be sure to include a substantial amount of protein in your diet. Protein is a macronutrient which your body needs to build and repair tissue, fight off infections and illnesses, and control your appetite and weight among others. Try to get your protein from healthy sources such as skinless poultry, oily fish and lean cuts of meat.
Great protein sources:
- Salmon, tempeh (fermented soy), free-range eggs and chicken
- Almonds, Walnuts
- Dairy-Free, unsweetened yogurts
- Greens (Yes, believe it or not, there are tons of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein in green food!)
Cut Down High-fat foods
While fat is essential in your diet, you have to be sure you are eating the right fats. Too much-saturated fat can increase the blood cholesterol levels, which raises your risk of heart disease. Try to get most of your fat from unsaturated oils such as olive and avocado. Of course, the worst offenders are trans-fats, which increase your LDL (bad cholesterol) and decrease your HDL (good cholesterol). Avoid the foods on this list:
List of Trans Fats To Avoid:
- Cakes, pies, and cookies (especially with frosting) Most cake and cookie mixes list 0 grams of trans fat on the label.
- Breakfast sandwiches.
- Margarine (stick or tub)
- Microwave popcorn.
- Cream-filled candies.
Functional foods enhance health and wellbeing by boosting metabolism, promoting digestion, improving nutrient absorption, and assisting in weight loss. Functional Foods are important to include in any diet because they are very nutritious and always have a unique medicinal effect. These foods serve a double purpose and should be prioritized, in order to achieve maximum health.
Try these functional foods out:
- Flaxseeds (Omega-3 Fatty Acids)
- Chia seeds (Omega-3 Fatty Acids)
- Seaweed (Protein)
- Quinoa (Protein)
- Leafy greens (High in magnesium)
- Cacao (Pure Chocolate; High in magnesium)
- Olives (fermented food for gut health)
- Kimchi (fermented food for gut health)
- Garlic, Tumeric, Ginger (anti-inflammatory)
While your hormones may never be at the same level they used to be before menopause, you can still live a comfortable and stress-free life after menopause by following a healthy, balanced diet.
Check out these other valuable resources on menopause